Missing men? the debate over rural poverty and women-headed households in Southern Africa

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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Abstract

Migrant labour in Southern Africa has been historically associated with rural poverty and a high incidence of women-headed households. Poverty alleviation approaches to social policy ask whether in this context rural women headed households are poorer than those headed by men. Ample research from the region shows that the answer is no, not always, a fact once more confirmed here in an analysis of the Botswana case. This case suggests, however, that the wrong question is being asked. The incidence of both women-headed households and rural poverty has increased with the polarisation of agrarian production and the exclusionary restructuring of the migrant labour system. We need to ask not whom to target but what should be done when capital no longer needs the labour that it pulled from rural households over so many generations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series
Number252
ISSN0921-0210

Series

  • ISS Working Paper-General Series

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